Thursday, May 31, 2007

Clothes Horse

Now that my garden is growing and requires little attention other than watering, fertilizer and admiring (for the time being), I'm in a summer clothing making mood.

I’ve been scouring the internet for freebie patterns and had to share what I’ve come up with:

* Amy Butler's Café Wrap Skirt (scroll to the very bottom - it's so cute!)

* Hancock Fabric's Poodles in Paris Skirt/Dress (don't let the name fool you into thinking it's some cutesy poodle skirt kinda thing. It's actually quite lovely! Though I'm not one for strapless, that can be adjusted)

* Burda's Empire Top (love it! sooo comfy looking!) and skirt

And have you ever been to the Naughty Secretary Club site? Yes I know it sounds vaguely pornographic, but they have some really nifty bracelets (I'm lovin' the blue bakelite), hair clips and purses! Oh my!


Tonight, Melissa and her girls are coming to visit. YIPPEE! I may have to suggest a trip to my fav ice cream place, Webbers, for homemade ice cream! There is nothing more fun than watching little kids eat ice cream...especially when you're not the one who has to clean them up afterward!! ;^)

Have a fab evening all!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

My first foray into the world of strawberry rhubarb pie. Though I've eaten many, I've never actually made last night, as I looked at the beautiful stalks jutting forth from my rhubarb plant, I thought, "I need to make a pie!"
So I dragged out my gram's trusty Fannie Farmer Cookbook (this is a 1945 edition). You can see it's been well used!
I used the "Plain Pastry" recipe at the bottom of the left hand page for the pie crust (the cooking instructions are on the bottom of the right hand page - click on the pictures to enlarge)
This is the easiest pie crust recipe I have ever used! But I do add just a little sugar (less than a tsp) to it, so it doesn't taste too floury.

Then I used the "Rhubarb Pie" recipe at the bottom of the right hand page for the filling
But as you can see, I added the last of the strawberries from last season (I can't wait for strawberry season!!! Just a few more weeks and the should be ready here in Maine!)
How yummy does that look?

The baking instructions are kinda funky. It calls for baking it on the bottom rake of the oven for 10 mins at 450 degrees (to thoroughly cook the bottom), then you move it to the middle rack for 40 mins at 350. If you make this, remember to turn your oven down! I forgot. DUH! But I timed it for 20 mins, just so I could check on it. I ended up turning it down to 350 for only 10 mins and it came out beautifully, despite my screw up!
And it really tasted yummy!This was the easiest pie I have ever made!

Monday, May 28, 2007

What I did on my Memorial Day Weekend...

4 days off =

Project #1:
2 1/2 truckloads of brush raked, loaded & removed
1 lawn mowed
14 bags of topsoil, garden soil & manure loaded onto a cart at the garden center, loaded off the cart and into my truck, loaded out of my truck and half to my parents truck, while the rest was lugged to various spots around my yard
1 pile of compost raked and spread across the base of the hill
2 raised beds planted
Over 1000 vegetable & flower seeds planted

To create this:

Just call me Farmer Tiff!
Project #2:
1 clean house
6 boxes of x-mas decorations moved from the porch to the garage
9 totes moved off the porch...then back onto the porch :^P
3 bags of garbage tossed
1 twin bed moved from an upstairs bedroom downstairs to the porch (by myself I might add)
1 set of curtains found & 1 created

All to create this space:

Your sitting on a very cushy bed with a homemade quilt draped across it. A gentle breeze is blowing and the scent of lilacs, fresh cut grass and lily of the valley waft through the air. The urge to nap overtakes you and you are lulled to sleep by the sound of birds chirping and singing to one another as they swoop into the sugar maple to munch on the newly filled feeder.

Welcome to my cozy little den of Zen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Blog Toy

L O One Letter - V E
T H i S Blue exclamation mark
Go here to play!
And thanks to this blog for sharing such a fun toy.


M U is for les Brasseurs RJ Pewter Letter c H

F U Nn.JPG Exclamation mark

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bowdoinham Library's Annual Plant Sale 2007

This past Saturday was the annual plant sale at the Bowdoinham Library. Last year was the first time I'd ever been. Once again, it was crazy, busy and just fantastic! This year my sister came with my mother and I. I brought my camera and was all set to take pictures, but it was such a madhouse of people searching, inspecting, reading about all the plants that I forgot I had it. I was swept up in the excitement. I spent $8 less than last year, but look what I got...

A Contorted Willow (I'm calling it my twisty willow)
A deep cranberry Hollyhock to go with my pinky/white ones
A Flowering Crabapple (the only thing I really wanted to come away from the plant sale with)
White Bee Balm

I was so happy with all my purchases and just had to share with all of you (my mother and my sister were so happy, they bought so much stuff)!

Now I need to go to bed...I'm heading to New Hampshire tomorrow with my boss for a meeting with the Senate Presidents and Speakers of the House from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. I leave you with a picture of my computer buddy. Anytime I try to work on the computer at home, she is either in my lap or sitting in front of the monitor giving me this look; it's the "Pay attention to me...right now...or else" look.

Until Tuesday!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Happy Blogiversary, dear Musings From Mt. Vernon Street.

1 year ago today, you came into being.

You’ve documented my gardening, my quilt projects, my foray into Capri making and drawing.

You’ve witnessed destruction and rebirth, seasonal changes in Maine and many, many blatant promotions of doggie and kitty cuteness.

There have been ups and downs and everything in-between…and through it all, you’ve been there.

So raise a glass, one and all, in honor of Musings From Mt. Vernon Street.

To another year and to all that it may bring!

The real Mt. Vernon Street (and Sadie)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Traveling to Sri way of Maine

Every 6 to 8 weeks, my office exhibits new artwork, anything from paintings to photography to fabric art and paper art…and normally from artists who live in my boss’ district (I’ve photographed one of the exhibits before).

This time around, we’re surrounded by the photographs of John Beebe from Freeport, Maine.

His work is amazing! He spent a year long sabbatical in Sri Lanka and came away with the most fantastic of images. I wish I could take pictures of his photographs to show you, but they just don’t come out right (too much glare from the lights and window).

This one is my favorite. I want to transform her into an art quilt! She looks so knowing, like she has seen so much in her life.

Unfortunately, my other favorite is not on his website. I'd try to explain it, but just wouldn't do it justice - you really have to see it!

Check out his site - it's well worth your time to take the travel to Sri Lanka. Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2007


Warm air

Cool, gentle breeze

The scent of flowers just beginning to bloom

The sound of mourning doves cooing, crows calling off in the distance and the first sprinkler of the season making its “Chuh, Chuh, Chuh” sound as it rains down on a neighboring lawn

A soft quiet evening, just me and Sadie, roaming in the gloaming

Enjoy the weekend

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Forgetting Room by Nick Bantock

I just finished a fabulous book and had to share...

Book Description (from the inside cover)
When his grandfather dies, Armon inherits the family home in Ronda, Spain, and finds himself trying to unravel the surreal conundrum his grandfather has left for him. Armon begins to remember his childhood art lessons, and gradually, as his grandfather's studio takes hold of him, he finds himself pulled, day by day, toward a most extraordinary elliptic link with his past.

Binding art and text in a narrative marriage, Nick Bantock takes us to the Forgetting Room, where he teases us through a tale of discovery, revenge, alchemy, and Moorish legend.

The Forgetting Room has been described as “equal parts diary, novel, artistic work-in-progress and surrealist game” and I have to agree. It's an artistic adventure into the mind of the main character. It's mentally visually stunning, if that makes sense. As you read, you become Armon; you see what he sees, you feel what he feels and the urge to paint, to collage, to create is overwhelming.

It can be a little disjointed at times, but if you can overlook that - it's magical.

It's funny too (huh-funny, not ha-ha funny), that I would happen upon this book now. I've really been getting interested in collage art. I mean, I've done collage before, but it wasn't really my thing. Lately, I've been drawn more and more to it. And then to find this book on my bookshelf...well, I knew it was on the shelf. I'd looked at it a million times, but I never picked it up to read it. You see, it belonged to my ex and must have been thrown into my box of books when I moved out 5 years ago. When I started unpacking my books last fall, I put it on the shelf, thinking that maybe someday I'd read it. But I just couldn't bring myself to read was Pete's...and everything that once belonged to Pete held too many memories for far too long.

But broke down and finally read it. And I loved it! I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Composty Goodness

Is it weird that I’m totally psyched for free compost?

The local landfill collects leaves, branches and yard waste all year long, and then each spring gives away the compost and wood chips created from them for free. You’re allowed two truck loads while they have it, all you have to do is drive in and they will fill the bed with their bucket loader. How cool is that?

Since I had to work today (and tonight), my mother went to the landfill for me, filled my Dad's truck and my brother is going to unload it tonight on my back hill near where the raised beds are going (I’m so glad I didn’t get the raised beds in this past weekend - hooray for procrastination!).

So I've been talking about reclaiming my backyard since last summer. Want to see what I have to work with? Please keep in mind that my Dad is the über-packrat and I have inherited much of his junk since he and my mother moved to a smaller house:

Old compost pile, leaf pile and a wooden "thing" of my Dad's
(no clue what purpose it ever served)

Behind my shed = my new fencing, 2 metal oil drums, my ladder and a ton of old rotting wood that my Dad thought he'd one day use

My back hill ~ as of Saturday morning, this was covered in leaves, downed branches, boards, pipes, scrap metal and plastic gutters (look how clean it is now. The arching branches belong to the lilac bush that is older than I am)

The old fence that needs to come down, a ton of bricks and cement blocks (all the pipe, plastic gutters and scrap metal is still sitting here waiting to find a home - preferrably in someone else's yard!)

The dregs of my wood pile, the old wood splitter that needs to go, along with the cable coil that Dad will never use

So this is my backyard ~ it's scary and very hillbilly-ish. I wasn't going to show anyone pictures of this, but I want to document the before and afters. If it wasn't for my brother's help and motivation, the three truck loads of brush, leaves and branches that we got rid of this past weekend wouldn't have been removed.

There is still a lot to do, but its a good start! And every time I walk out back I get giddy; the vision I hold in my mind of how I want it to look is getting clearer and clearer

I leave you with images of my sweet Sadie enjoying the warmth of the late afternoon sun (the top left is my fav). Enjoy your evening!